HC Deb 06 May 1993 vol 224 cc187-8W
Mr. John Townend

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (I) what quantity of illegally imported alcoholic beverages have been impounded or confiscated by Customs and Excise officials in the first quarter of 1993;

(2) what estimate he has made, on a weekly basis, of the level of illegal importation of alcohol during the first quarter of 1993; and what his projection of the level was on 30 June 1992;

(3) how many cases Customs and Excise detected in the first quarter of 1993 of people illegally selling alcohol bought elsewhere in the EC at lower excise duty rates and imported into the United Kingdom ostensibly for personal use;

(4) what is his estimate of the percentage of abuse of the indicative level of alcohol and tobacco imports being detected by Customs and Excise officers; and what estimate he has made of the annual loss of revenue resulting from such abuse.

Sir John Cope

Details of detections of imported alcoholic drink illegally offered or intended for sale in the United Kingdom during the quarter ending 31 March are shown in the table.

Beverage seizures Quantity litres
Beer 51 47,064
Wine 15 7,385
Spirits 18 860

Any estimates as to the extent of undetected illegal importations would be largely a matter of speculation, but the revenue involved in the detected cases amounts in total to £57,834.

There is no longer any requirement for travellers to declare routinely details of tobacco and alcohol being brought into the United Kingdom from other EC member states for their personal use. Provided the goods are duty paid in the EC country of departure and are intended for personal use, the indicative levels, which function only as a guide, may be legitimately exceeded.